The request for proposal document for the greenfield Bellary airport in Karnataka would be ready in the next two weeks, officials of Infrastructure Development Corporation of Karnataka (iDecK), the project advisor, told Projectmonitor. The project schedule is thus slightly delayed given that the bid submission was to get over by March 16, as per original plan. It is likely that bidders would be finalised by around June.
Bellary airport would be the fifth minor airport to be developed in PPP format in Karnataka, after Hassan, Shimoga, Bijapur and Gulbarga. Nodal agency Infrastructure Development Department, Karnataka government, has identified 1,000 acres for the airport in the northeastern part of Bellary city in the iron ore-rich Bellary district. It is also a tourist destination and with some 12 million tpa of steel capacity coming up in the Hospet-Tornagullu-Bellary belt, the socioeconomic scene in Bellary is set for a big change.A wide angle view of the Bangalore International Airport.
Meanwhile, Maytas Infra Ltd has sought more time from the Karnataka government for the Shimoga and Gulbarga airports, it is learnt. Along with Nagarjuna Construction and VIE India, Maytas had won the two airports last year, before the Satyam scam came to light. The government is yet to decide on the two airports. VIE India is the local arm of Austria-based Vienna International Airport. Incidentally, the troubled Maytas recently sought more time from Andhra Pradesh government for the Rs 12,000-crore Hyderabad metro rail project.
The two other greenfield airports—Hassan and Bijapur—are under implementation. Hassan airport, awarded in August 2007 to Jupiter Aviation & Logistics Pvt. Ltd, is the first non-metro greenfield airport in Karnataka to be taken up with private entrepreneurship.
Bijapur airport was awarded to Chennai-based developer Marg Ltd late last year, which also marked the company’s entry in the aviation segment. Interestingly, this airport could also have got potentially delayed as Maytas Infra, though pre-qualified, refrained from submitting its financial bid.
Greenfield airports in Karnataka
Karnataka has planned a major aviation infrastructure upgrade in the coming years. Apart from those awarded, greenfield airports have also been planned at Bidar, Karwar, Raichur, Krishnanagar etc.
Meanwhile, Airports Authority of India is also modernising the Mysore and Mangalore airports to international standards. To further spread air connectivity to the interiors, Karnataka is also considering setting of airstrips at 11 locations, to begin with.
In the proposed non-metro greenfield airports in Karnataka, neither will the state government or AAI hold equity stake. The crucial air traffic control (ATC) will be managed by AAI while airport operations will be done by the private sector developer. The state government would earn in the form of lease rent on the land provided.